“During World War I, on and around Christmas Day 1914, the sounds of rifles firing and shells exploding faded in a number of places along the Western Front in favor of holiday celebrations in the trenches and gestures of goodwill between enemies.”
That’s what the website history.com says about one of the last acts of chivalry and decency between sides during a war. It’s become known as “The Christmas Truce of 1914.”
If it were in my power, I’d declare a truce. In this season of Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward All People when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the King of kings, Lord of lords, and Prince of Peace I’d declare a truce:
- A truce in every place throughout the world where one group of human beings targets another group of human beings – anywhere there is war or armed conflict, hate, or animosity;
- A truce in the worldwide war on terrorism. A truce that would compel all terrorist organizations to lay down their weapons and, correspondingly, all countries and groups defending themselves against the threat of terrorism;
- A truce for police officers who seem to shoot first and ask questions later. I say this as someone who has the utmost respect for the police and all first responders who put their lives on the line while serving the public. I try to understand the pressure police officers live with while on the job. I try to imagine what I would do and how I would respond if I were an officer. Truthfully, I don’t know how I would respond if it seemed someone might want to harm me. My faith compels me to seek all possible solutions before ever considering deadly force against another human being, but as a police officer in the heat of the moment I don’t know how long I would have to try to pursue those possibilities. Likely, not long. Split-second decisions with life or death hanging in the balance aren’t common for most of us. Police officers make them, and live with the results, far more often than I. None of the recent killings of people encountering the police that have gained notoriety are simple, open and shut situations. I just wish there weren’t so many killings;
- A truce in race relations here in the United States. No more hate. No more discrimination. Instead, love and good will for one another. If you don’t have real relationships with people of a different race or ethnic background than yours, you might be part of the problem here. Get to know some folks who are different than you. Share a meal, worship together, get to know them. You’ll find there are far more things that make us like one another than there are things that make us different;
- A truce in the ever intensifying, ugly, disrespectful war of words otherwise known as the 2016 Presidential Campaign. ‘Nuff said; and, finally
- A truce in the so-called war on Christmas. This truce would compel all professing Christians to exhibit the joy of the season in all their interactions with others because of the reason for the season (Jesus). If someone wished a Christian “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings” the response would be a bright smile and a cheerful voice responding with a “Thank you, and Merry Christmas!”
Every time I pray I include a prayer for peace on earth, remembering the words to the song: Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.
That’s where peace begins, in the hearts of those who follow Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I continue to pray that there will be peace on earth and that it will begin with you and me. Merry Christmas!